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Published On: Mon, Nov 18th, 2013

Dozens of India zoo employees sickened with leptospirosis, brucellosis

At least 40 employees at the Kanpur Zoo in Uttar Pradesh, India, have been infected with two zoonotic diseases, according to a Times of India (TOI) report Friday.

Image-CDC/Janice Haney Carr

Image-CDC/Janice Haney Carr

According to a leading diagnostic center in Kanpur, more than three dozen zoo employees who had their medical check up during the past two months tested positive for leptospirosis and brucellosis.

The TOI reports, According to reliable sources, as many as 30 zoo employees are affected with leptospirosis disease (caused by bacteria Leptospira) alone. Some 10 zoo staffers are affected with brucellosis, including the zoo director, Kuruvilla Thomas and zoo veterinarian RK Singh. The infected employees are receiving the appropriate treatment.

These infection can be considered “occupational diseases”; however, as one doctor notes, “there is nothing to worry and neither there is any threat of spread of any epidemic”.

Another physician said,  “Those staying around wild animals, especially in places like zoos, are often exposed to these bacterias. Such risk runs in the employees of the Kanpur zoo as well.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.

Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by several species of Brucella bacteria.

People can get the disease when they are in contact with infected animals or animal products contaminated with the bacteria. Animals that are most commonly infected include sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and dogs, among others.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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